This is the mildly-nonplussing Xperia Z1 shoved into a smaller frame, with almost nothing compromised. With a 4.3-inch screen it’s one of the most easy to use devices in the hand, coming in next to the iPhone 5S, but it does it with a much lower cost and a great battery life to boot. On top of that it’s waterproof and has expandable memory, plus a superb screen. It’s been usurped in some ways by the Xperia Z2 insofar that if you want that Bravia-powered IPS screen, the G Lens camera or just general access to Sony’s tight band of media apps, this is no longer the best Sony phone on the market and has dropped a few places as a result. However, if you’re more about size then this is still the best of the mid-range players. check it out if you want to save a bit of cash over the bigger brother flagship too.
Google Nexus 5
So we’ve updated our review with the new phone software, and thankfully things are a lot better now. The battery is improved, the camera a little more stable, and the low cost is still in place. You already know we like Android 4.4, the clever implementation and the £299 price tag. We love the high power CPU, the quality screen; even the rubberised outer shell. You can get the LG G2 for around the same price now though, and that offers a far superior camera, better battery life and a huge slew of extra features – it really depends if you’re a fan of the stripped-down experience.
Wait, an LG phone in the top rankings? Believe it people; LG has made a phone that not only impressed us but ran the HTC One very, very close for the top spot in 2013 – and holds a strong place into 2014 too. We don’t know where to start in terms of extolling the virtues of this new handset from the South Korean firm: it’s got an insanely good screen, quality camera, the best audio pumping out from its speakers and headphone jack. the list goes on. We even came to tolerate, then love, the power and volume buttons being placed on the rear. These aren’t ideal, but the ability to knock on the screen makes it really easy to interact with this impressive device. The LG G3 is here now, and is going to blow this out of the water in terms of price and power but given the lower cost the G2 is still an excellent choice.
Samsung Galaxy S5
2014 is turning out to be a stellar year for the prospective smartphone user, as the HTC One (M8) was joined by the Samsung Galaxy S5 in our best smartphone list, and now the Xperia Z2 enters the fray too. There was a lot of hype around the new Galaxy, and rightly s it’s by far the best phone Samsung has ever produced, with a blazing fast core, a strong result in the benchmarks and a larger 5.1-inch screen. Then there’s the fact that with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 CPU the Galaxy S5 is one of the best phones on the market when it comes to battery life, besting the already impressive One M8 in the power stakes. Samsung has also dropped the ‘innovation’ of the air gestures from last year and improved the hardware with a better camera, fingerprint scanner and heart rate monitor too.